September 1, 2021
Australian drone-powered logistics provider Swoop Aero has announced a partnership with commercial drone safety company Iris Automation. The partnership will offer beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone solutions to global clients looking to safely unlock the skies above cities and solve logistics challenges in remote and rural areas.
Swoop Aero’s experience is in providing safe, sustainable transportation in areas where ground or traditional air access is inaccessible, too slow, or not economical. The partnership enhances Swoop Aero’s ability to expand across global markets, and support a broader range of customer missions by enabling the company to obtain complex operational approvals and certifications. For example, Swoop Aero recently announced medical supply delivery operations with EBOS Healthcare in Australia, and joined New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s airspace integration trial program. Both operations incorporate Iris Automation’s Casia detect-and-avoid (DAA) technology to improve air safety.
The partnership follows Swoop Aero’s unveiling of its Kite aircraft, designed for urban flight and high-impact rural and remote operations. The aircraft is the centerpiece of Swoop Aero’s full technology stack, including hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure. The company said Kite will support the integration of Iris Automation’s Casia detect-and-avoid technology as part of its suite of safety features to meet operational and customer requirements.
The Iris Automation Casia system detects other aircraft and makes intelligent decisions about the threat they may pose to the drone. It then works with the Swoop Aero system to trigger automated maneuvers to avoid collisions, as well as alerting the pilot in command of the mission. Iris also partners with Swoop on airspace integration regulatory resources.
Why this matters
In order for commercial drone services to scale and expand, BVLOS flights must be enabled safely. Regulators will need to be sure that unmanned aerial vehicles will be safe when flying over cities, humans and can avoid other aircraft.
“With two leading drone innovators coming together, we can drive the safe integration of autonomous aircraft into even more critical areas,” said Eric Peck, CEO and co-founder of Swoop Aero. “A DAA solution is the last great challenge preventing complex operational approvals and certification in countries like Australia and the United States. This partnership showcases the innovation inherent in our platform, and our commitment to safety.”
“Swoop Aero is a great example of how commercial drone services are evolving, meeting numerous critical use cases around the world,” added Jon Damush, CEO of Iris Automation. “We are seeing the leading players in the space make investments in safety, and Swoop is one of the firms leading the charge to ensure the safe and efficient integration of uncrewed aircraft into existing national airspaces around the world. Demand for these use cases is highest in regions with stringent air safety standards and avoiding mid-air collisions is the most important aspect of reducing air risk. An innovator like Swoop Aero is doing the right things to safely introduce aerial services to deliver essential supplies to previously inaccessible areas and we are excited to partner with them on this mission.”